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Associate Scientist I/II - Cell Culture - BPD

Location Gaithersburg, Maryland, United States Job ID R-101854 Date posted 03/03/2021

Do you have a passion for Science? Would you like to apply your expertise to impact a company that follows the science and turns ideas into life changing medicines? Then AstraZeneca might be the one for you!

At AstraZeneca, we put patients first and strive to meet their unmet needs worldwide. Working here means being entrepreneurial, thinking big and working together to make the impossible a reality. If you are swift to action, confident to lead, willing to collaborate, and curious about what science can do, then you’re our kind of person.

About AstraZeneca in Gaithersburg, MD:

Our Gaithersburg, Maryland facility creates life-changing medicines for people around the world.  This campus employs more than 3,500 experts in our field and is only a short drive from Washington, DC. This modern and vibrant scientific campus is the home of R&D and Oncology in the US. Here, we play host to some of the most cutting-edge technology and lab spaces, all designed to inspire collaboration and cross-functional science. We believe employees benefit from being challenged and inspired at work. We are dedicated to creating a culture of inclusion and collaboration.

The Gaithersburg site offers a variety of amenities to help boost productivity and help keep our employees happy and healthy. This includes a fitness center, employee healthcare clinic, electric vehicle charging stations, dry cleaning, full-service cafeteria and copy center. This is where you’ll find newly-designed, activity-based work spaces to suit a variety of working styles while increasing collaboration between teams. 

Summary of the group:

The Development Scale Up Center (DSC) at AstraZeneca in the Manufacturing Sciences department (within Research and Development) is responsible for process scale up, technology transfer, and facility fit assessment of clinical and commercial processes to the DSC.  The Associate Scientist will be responsible for the scale-up of cell culture and fermentation development batches that produce material for toxicology studies, process lock and early / late-stage development and to meet material demands to support CMC teams.  The data generated from the DSC is used to determine facility fit and assist with the tech transfer of the manufacturing process to internal and external cGMP facilities.  The candidate will perform cell culture and fermentation operations, including CIP/SIP, sampling, data analysis, and harvest operations to produce drug substance at pilot-scale (100L to 1,000L).  The DSC, in collaboration with cell culture and purification development scientists and process engineers within R&D, also evaluate innovative technologies, implement novel process control/automation methods and support scale down model development.  The environment is fast-paced, challenging and dynamic, with varying degrees of process definition and frequent piloting of novel process operations and novel molecule formats.

Main Duties & Responsibilities:

This position is focused on the production of therapeutic proteins in Development, Process Scale-up. Responsibilities include preparing media solutions and executing cell culture and harvest operations (single-use bioreactors and stainless steel bioreactors, continuous centrifugation, depth filtration, membrane filtration) with pilot scale equipment and systems.

This role will also require the following:

  • Preparation of stock solutions/media, excellent aseptic technique, operation and maintenance of blood-gas analyzers, automated cell counters, bioreactors and continuous centrifuges.
  • Technology transfer and execution of cell culture and fermentation processes for various molecules. Transfer data to support large scale manufacturing and the ability to investigate/troubleshoot operational issues.  
  • Maintain chemical and lab supplies inventory and requests vendor quotes as needed.
  • Good organization and interpersonal skills with the ability to interact effectively with CMC team members, project teams, manufacturing personnel, and suppliers is essential.
  • Makes detailed observations, analyzes data, and interprets results
  • Evaluate new technologies and implements new tools to improve process outcomes.

Education & Experience Requirements:

Chemical engineering or engineering discipline is preferred, however candidates with biochemistry, chemistry, biology or related fields will be considered.

Associate Scientist I: Bachelor’s degree with 5-8 years or a Master’s degree with 2-5 years of related experience in industry or academia.

Associate Scientist II: Bachelor’s degree with 9+ years or Master’s degree with 6+ years of related experience in industry or academia.

Required Skills:

  • Experience operating cell culture and fermentation equipment; rocker motion and stirred tank bioreactors, CIP / SIP of stainless steel tanks / bioreactors, understanding of bioreactor control systems, offline analytics, and must have excellent aseptic technique.
  • Proficient with Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and data analysis.
  • Able to communicate and present data to scientists, engineers, and management.
  • Familiarity with root cause analysis and problem-solving tools.
  • Position requires periodic weekend work and evening shifts

Desired Skills:

  • Knowledge of engineering principles including mass transfer and heat transfer
  • Experience in operating large scale bioreactors (>50L scale). 
  • Fundamental understanding of important quality attributes necessary for cell culture and fermentation.

Why AstraZeneca?

At AstraZeneca when we see an opportunity for change, we seize it and make it happen, because any opportunity no matter how small, can be the start of something big. Delivering life-changing medicines is about being entrepreneurial - finding those moments and recognising their potential. Join us on our journey of building a new kind of organisation to reset expectations of what a bio-pharmaceutical company can be. This means we’re opening new ways to work, pioneering cutting edge methods and bringing unexpected teams together. Interested? Come and join our journey.

So, what’s next!

Are you ready to bring new ideas and fresh thinking to the table? Brilliant! We have one seat available and we hope it’s yours.

Where can I find out more?

Check out our landing page for more information on our BPD group

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AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorisation and employment eligibility verification requirements.

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Glassdoor logo Rated four stars on Glassdoor

Great culture, great work assignments, supportive management. Rotation opportunity within the company. They value inclusion and diversity.